Assessment of a Novel Visuospatial Memory Test Open Access

Ali, Sunita S. (2009)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/2j62s5401?locale=en
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Abstract

Abstract
Assessment of a Novel Visuospatial Memory Test
By Sunita Ali

Objective : Neuropsychological tests of learning and memory reliably detect verbal memory deficits following left temporal lobe damage but inconsistently detect visuospatial deficits following right temporal lobe damage. We devised a novel test using 3-dimensional shapes rather than traditional 2-dimensional drawings in an attempt to more sensitively measure visuospatial memory and right temporal lobe dysfunction.

Participants and Methods : Sixty healthy controls (30 male) were recruited into 3 experimental groups: 1) a control group (n=24; 12 male) completed the task under standard instructions and established a "normal" range of performance, 2) the verbal interference group (n=18; 9 male) completed the task while performing a verbally-based interference task (repeating the word "the"), 3) the visuospatial interference group (n=18; 9 male) completed the task while performing a visuospatial distraction task (following a moving shape). All three groups were given four learning trials to remember 12 towers, 6 gray towers intended to assess visuospatial memory and 6 color towers intended to assess verbal memory. Participants were instructed to encode stimuli by naming colors for the color towers or taking a mental picture for the gray towers. A recognition memory test was given immediately after trials 1 and 4, and after a 20-minute delay.

Results : Overall, we found no significant effects of group with the typical performance being similar for the two tower types on trial 1, but significantly better for the gray towers by trial 4 and after the delay. Although the verbal interference group showed this pattern of results, the visuospatial interference group performed significantly worse on the gray relative to the color towers on trial 1, similar on the two tower types on trial 4, and then significantly better for the gray towers at delay.

Conclusion : Overall, the interference tasks were minimally effective at impeding modality specific processing (i.e. verbal or visuospatial) given the lack of significant between group differences. Within this context, however, the visuospatial interference task did significantly affect performance on trial 1 which is what had been predicted.

Table of Contents


Table of Contents

Introduction.............................................................................................1
Methods..................................................................................................8
Results....................................................................................................12
Discussion................................................................................................15
Table 1....................................................................................................20
Figure 1...................................................................................................21
Figure 2...................................................................................................22
Figure 3...................................................................................................23
Figure 4...................................................................................................24
Figure 5...................................................................................................25
Figure 6...................................................................................................26
Figure 7...................................................................................................27
Figure 8...................................................................................................28

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